This is awesome

Someone in a position of power at DVO looked at this video and thought, “This is a great video. Send it out to all the MTB sites. Now people are gonna know our shit is good to go.”

These are the only things I can conclude after watching that video:

1. The Emerald fork will probably bend before it snaps. Probably.

Based on the video evidence, we can conclude that, at least when deflected in one direction, the fork bends a really long way before it snaps.

We don’t know when it will snap, crackle, or pop when bent in that direction, or how much force was required to do so. We don’t know if they ever got it to snap, crackle, or pop in that direction. We don’t know if the stress test shown in the video permanently deformed the materials, and we don’t know how much deflection or force is required to permanently deform the fork. We don’t know how much deflection the fork will sustain in other directions before failing. We don’t know what effect impulse vs. constant forces will have on the fork.

Most of all we have no baseline and no way to compare the tests shown in the video to literally anything else whatsoever. Which leads us to our next key learning from this video:

2. As a company, DVO is probably ethical. Probably.

After watching the video, we can conclude that DVO does test their forks. We don’t know if they test them a lot or a little. All we know is that tests occur.

What were the results of those tests?
Do they test products more or less than their competition?
Did DVO test products from their competitors?
Do we have any means to interpret the results of those tests or compare against the competition?

We have no idea.

It goes up AND down.

Here’s another fun game: I’m going to list all the suspension fork manufacturers I can think of, and you’re going to guess which of them doesn’t test their products:

SR Suntour
White Brothers

If you guessed “all of those companies test their products,” you would be correct. Every single one of those companies test their products. Some test them more, some test them less, but no one just doesn’t test stuff. That one of the steps required to be legit. Or here’s a better word: Ethical. It would be unethical to not test products, because someone could get hurt using your product if it failed in a predictable, measurable, avoidable way. Testing your product is one of those absolute bare minimums for being considered a real company.

Of course, Bryson Martin shared this on Vital: “Unlike many other companies, we just wanted to show everyone that this fork went through very stringent laboratory testing and passed with flying colors.” 

“…very stringent lab testing… passed with flying colors.”

That’s the MTB equivalent of claiming “World’s Greatest Cheeseburger:”

I haven’t tried every cheeseburger in the world, so I’ll have to take them at their word.
And besides, why would a restaurant exaggerate about something like that?

DVO, we don’t even know if your product is better off because of your testing. Maybe the results were horrifying and your product is dangerous, but you have too much invested and there is no cost effective way to fix your product, so you’re just going to produce it anyway and let the consumers deal with it. We call this “The Avid Elixir Approach.”

To be fair, this guy has white handlebars, so he probably had it coming.

Maybe you discovered that your product is massively overbuilt and over-engineered, and you could make it 99% as reliable and only Andre the Giant would notice the difference (not really, he’s dead. And seriously, it’s 2013, that’s a pretty weak pop-culture reference). Maybe by cutting back a little bit, you could save all the consumers 30% in the process. But maybe you just didn’t change anything because you have too much invested and there is no cost effective way to fix your product, so you just going produce it anyway and let the consumers deal with it. We call this “The Magura Gustav Approach.”

Sure that thing hasn’t had a fresh bleed since we found out Backstreet’s Back [editor’s note: ALRIGHT!!] but I’m sure it will still stop a semi truck dead in its tracks.

Whatever, I have no reason to assume the guys at DVO are evil or deceptive. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt: we’ll assume that DVO did the bare minimum to be considered ethical, and they tested their products to the benefit of their products and consumers. Of course this doesn’t make DVO special or differentiate their product in any way, but we can still give them kudos for doing the bare minimum.

Congratulations DVO, what do you want? A gold star? Great, here’s a gold star for testing your fancy new fork:

You earned it.
3. The results of their testing probably weren’t great.
Here’s a simple rule: If you’re selling something, you cite every imaginable benefit in your sales pitch. 
Exclusive this.
Proprietary that.
Best ever.
New and improved.
You know what companies LOVE TO ADVERTISE WITH? Statistics. Specifically, comparative statistics that resulted from testing their products against their competitors’ products:
40% more compliance than the last model.

30% more torsional stiffness than Overdrive 1.

40% more brightening power than detergent alone.

It’s not exactly like BMC, Giant, Santa Cruz, or Oxiclean had to hide these numbers from their competitors. It’s not like this is all top secret black magic voodoo stuff that occurs behind close doors. If there is a measurable advantage, than you will advertise the hell out of it. That’s what marketing is.
Marketing for Dummies: 
Step One.
Make sure your shit is better than the other guys. If this is impossible/difficult/inconvenient/you’re lazy/SRAM, skip ahead to step two.
Step Two.
Tell everyone how much better your shit is.
If you do a bunch of testing and DON’T tell us what the results are, then the only reasonable conclusion is that there’s nothing to tell. That doesn’t mean it’s bad news. Not necessarily, anyways. But it’s way more powerful to say “top secret” than to say “it’s sort of the same as the other guys. It’s a little better in some ways, maybe a little worse in other ways.”
I could keep ranting. But that will do for now.
-Team Robot

10 thoughts on “This is awesome

  1. Dude……. Just take a deep breathe and count to 10.

    You sound like you got the weight of the mtb industry on your back bro. You shouldn't feel like the mtb industry is just a giant tsunami of lies and gimmicks washing over you like an unstoppable force – day after day

  2. wake up pete.. obviously, once you wrap up the super enduro bro nw series or whatever it was, it entiitles that the whole industry not only cares what you think, but depends on what you write on your blog.
    alas I agree, you shouldn't feel 'like the mtb industry is just a giant tsunami of lies and gimicks..' but lets not kid each other, petey.. We all know its a bunch of over-hyping, hypothetical comparisons; non-conclusive/comparative testing, sponsoring the currently hottest ding-dong, ego stroking etc… Lies and gimmicks are a part of any industry/marketing.
    At least Chazz can call it like it is.. who needs numbers when you have baller footage right, DVO? thinkings overrated anyways.

  3. Progress is not the same as change is not the same as self-serving marketing is not the same as being a “good” rider

  4. The thing is….even if they did publish the results 99.99999 % of the buyers would know what that data means or know what to do with it. So uhhh….what's your point?

  5. 3:42 PM, I'm going to assume you meant: “99.99999% of the buyers WOULDN'T know what that data means or know what to do with it.” so that I can berate the living stupid out of you. If not, just ignore the rest of this rant. 99.99999% wouldnt understand the results, eh? So that probably means top level riders, a few engineers with ph.ds, and the folks at DVO are the only ones who are interested in technical information. Everyone else is just oooooo inverted, aaaaahhh its green, sound familiar? Its pitiful that you don't care about the technical performance of your ride, and even more sad that you think 99.9999blablabla% of your fellow mountain bikers share your apathy. Buddy, there is a big difference between not giving a f*ck and stupid. But lets humor your outrageous figure, say everybody is just as stupid as you are and don't want to know about any test results for anything. Then why show the testing in the first place? (I feel like I'm restating points made clear in the article) Because if you have the results and they are good, why the hell not? And if they the results are better or comparable to the competition, why not give us idiots a frame of reference and compare them to the competition. And as for “or know what to do with it,” well, thats where an intelligent person makes the decision to buy the fork or not. You wouldn't know about that stuff.

  6. If you actually knew anything about testing DH forks you might be more impressed with the video. Here is a quote from Bryson Martin:

    “It's strong. If you watched our latest video on testing the Emerald, take notice the curve of the fork when it is flexed to the max. It is a smooth arc from the clamps all the way to the axle. Typically on conventional forks, you'll notice they have a “kink” where the casting and stanchions meet. That is a stress riser. The Emerald flexes as a whole, not in two pieces.”

    So it's not the same as the other guys, it's clearly stronger. You probably wouldn't like what you would see if your Boxxer or Fox 40 underwent that same test, which is why Rock Shox and Fox would never put out videos like this.

  7. Hmmmm so it really is awesome. Even if it the Boxxer has been strengthened since this video, I think it's safe to say it wouldn't have that gradual curve of the Emerald it would snap, cackle, & pop like the Sram product it is:

  8. I see the usual whiners are out on their daily interwebz stroll today. =)

    Been feeling depressed lately, needed a good laugh. this was nothing short of amazebawls.


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